Most of you interactive
fiction fans love the puzzles in Infocom's games. But many
of you may not realize that puzzle-solving is also an important
part of Infocom's first graphics strategy game, Fooblitzky.
Here is a Fooblitzky-like logic puzzle; see if you
can figure it out.
Imagine a town
where stores sell only 12 items, and where the currency is
"foobles." Now suppose a contest is held in the
town, and 4 of the items are secretly designated "right
items." Your goal is to figure out what the 4 right items
To help you out,
city officials tell you the cost (in foobles) of the
4 right items. And every time you bring items to City Hall,
you'll be told how many of the items you have are right.
However, you won't be told which items are right. Given
the following information, can you tell which are the 4 right
Items costing 4
foobles: banana, fish, hair spray, and screwdriver.
Items costing 8
foobles: light bulb, sardines, snake, and toothpaste.
Items costing 16
foobles: eyedropper, hot dog, pig, and saw.
told that one of the right items costs 4 foobles, one costs
8 foobles, and two cost 16 foobles. Assume that the two 16-fooble
items are different.
- Player 1 goes
to City Hall with a banana, a snake, an eyedropper, and
a pig, and learns that she's carrying 2 right items.
- Player 2 goes
to City Hall with a banana, a light bulb, and a snake, and
learns that he too is carrying 2 right items.
- Player 3 goes
to City Hall with sardines, a hot dog, a pig, and a saw,
and learns that he is carrying 1 right item.
- Player 4 goes
to City Hall with hair spray, toothpaste, and a saw, and
learns that she's carrying 1 right item.
With this information,
you should be able to deduce what the 4 right items are. (In
a real game of Fooblitzky, you couldn't assume
that the two 16-fooble items are different. Try deducing the
4 right items again, this time allowing the two 16-fooble
items to be the same or different. Is there more than one
possibility? Answers here.)
Figuring out the
right items is just part of the fun in Fooblitzky.
You can bump into other players to steal their items; buy
or sell items at the pawn shows at discount prices; ride the
UGH (the underground gliding highway) to move around the city
quickly; hide items from other players in lockers; and so
on. And the Chance Man can show up any time, sometimes to
help you, and sometimes to hinder you.
is a lot like your favorite board game: you play against your
friends or family rather than against the computer. As in
interactive fiction, there are dozens or hundreds of alternatives
at every turn. And there are so many possibilities in Fooblitzky,
no two games are alike. We've even put several variations
into the program, so you can make the game easier, harder,